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A battery monitor for your house battery bank in your DIY camper van isn't a necessity, but then again, neither is a fuel gauge for driving. They both serve the same purpose.

Quick note before we get started.  This is just one part of an overarching “How to Install a DIY Camper Van Electrical System” series.  If you’ve just stumbled on this article directly without seeing that, there are likely some things we’ve already covered.  If you want to check out that step by step guide, you can do that here: https://www.explorist.life/diy-campervan-solar

Also, we have interactive solar wiring diagrams that are a complete, A to Z solution for teaching you exactly what parts go where, what size wires to use, fuse size recommendations, wire lug sizes, and all kind of other stuff to help save you time and frustration.  You can check that out here: https://www.explorist.life/solarwiringdiagrams/

What does a Camper Van Battery Monitor Do?

The Battery Monitor, at it's core, tells you three key pieces of information:

Victron BMV-712 Bluetooth app receiving data from the Battery Monitor

How does a Battery Monitor work?

A Battery monitor sits in-line between your batteries and ALL loads of your electrical system.

The battery monitor reads how many amps are going into or leaving your batteries at any given time.

What is a Shunt?

The shunt is the actual measuring device that you will wire in-line your negative cable that goes from your negative battery terminals to your negative busbar. There is usually a little data port to plug in the cable that runs to the actual monitor itself as well as a small power wire that supplies power to the monitor.

The Battery Monitor

The Battery Monitor is the actual little display face device that you plug into the shunt. If the shunt is the computer, the monitor is, well… the monitor.

Bluetooth Battery Monitor

The Victron BMV-712, in particular, actually has bluetooth capabilities that allow you to easily access more information from your phone than is easily available from your actual display face.

The user experience of the Victron Connect app is a highly welcome addition to a high-end camper van electrical system as it has a easy to use user experience as well as historical usage figures.

Now that you know how to wire a battery monitor into your system to keep tabs on your battery capacity, it’s time to actually use that battery capacity for something useful.  In the next lesson, you’ll learn how to wire 12v accessories like plugs and fans. Check that out here: https://www.explorist.life/how-to-wire-12v-plugs-fans-and-accessories-in-a-diy-camper/

Everything that you are learning here is put to use in our FREE Interactive Solar Wiring Diagrams.  If you haven’t yet, check them out as they are a complete solution for a camper van electrical system.  Check them out here: https://www.explorist.life/solarwiringdiagrams/

Remember, this is just one part of a full camper van electrical educational series.  To see all of the individual guides, click here: https://www.explorist.life/diy-campervan-solar

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